Thursday, November 30, 2006

The World Is Yours

My blog pal Cheryyl just gave me the heads up, that a two month old post of hers has had some action a month later. I wonder if any one has any insight to this topic? Her and I got pulled across the coals for our simple perspective on Castro and Cuba.

Here is her original post and the two month period of comments: Pitbull compares Castro to Hitler while wearing a Scarface t-shirt.

I must have seen Scarface about 200 times, it was one of my very favourite movies in the 80's. It absolutely died in the theatres had a pathetic box office. I bought it as soon as I could when it came out for home viewing. It was immediately adopted by the punk and goth culture. The story depicts an illegal immigrants journey from poverty to wealth. The production had all kinds of controversy and was not even allowed to be filmed in it's actual location of Florida, because Cuban Americans rejected it's stereotype portrayal of Cubans as drug dealers and gangsters. The script was written by Oliver Stone and directed by Brian Da Palma who was awarded a Razzie for worst director that year for Scarface.

The film has moved from the hearts of film students, artists, punks into the worship of hip hop and rap artists into mainstream assimilation. One can find blankets, t-shirts, coffee mugs and ties with Tony Montana on them.

The journey of Tony Montana has two world views. For some it is a rags to riches story. The twist is, that the wealth is absolute corruption. Tony Montana one time says "all a man has in this world is his balls and his word." What happens to his sense of honour during the film? The rise from poverty to wealth is adopted as a kind of forgiveness: His wealth often hints to some viewers that he is forgiven by society for his crimes and murder. But the deep theme of the movie suggests that the ruthless desire for status and wealth is a form of evil. Yet, we love Montana, we love to study his ascent and his descent. We feel for him because we too want to be rich and we have been taught to believe that is all of our true potentials. The image of sucess is first always, a huge mansion, beautiful clothes and bling, lots of toys.Scarface is the ultimate zen buddhist movie. The famous sculpture in his foyer says "The World Is Yours" yet his world is a complete illusion. It's an ironic symbol and decoration perhaps misunderstood by the greedy. The wealth and power never brought him any peace or any kind of life in the world. His dreams are illusions dangerous if manifested, representing money and power as a kind of slick cool deathwish.

No, idolizing Scarface without acknowledging it's cautionary tale is an insult to it's beloved place in contemproary culture. Scarface is a spiritual movie, not a gangster manifesto.

Frank Lopez: Hey, Tony. Remember when I told you when you first started working for me, the guys that last in this business, are the guys who fly straight. Low-key, quiet. But the guys who want it all, chicas, champagne, flash... they don't last.
Tony Montana: [scoffs] You finished? Can I go?
Frank Lopez: Yes, I'm finished.
[Tony exits, shrugging with indifference]

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Concentrated Food or Don't Forget To Take Your Vitamins

1) Vitamin B complex deficiency is the cause of most minor depression in our agricultural society. Symptoms of vitamin B deficiency include any ONE of the following: mental problems, heart palpitations, heart arrythmias,f ibrillation, indigestion, chronic fatigue,chronic exhaustion, paranoia, vague fears, fear that something dreadful is about to happen, nervousness,ADD (attention deficiency), inability to concentrate, irritability, feeling of uneasiness, thoughts of dying, easy agitation, frustration, inability to sleep (insomnia),restlessness, tingling in hands, tingling fingers and toes, rashes, crying spells, inability to cope, or soreness all over.

2) Yet ask a doctor if they recommend patients reporting any of these symptoms are told to find a natural source supplement? Or try to convince someone suffering from fatigue or vague fears to go and buy a B vitamin complex. They will deny deny deny.

3)Some people believe all our vitamins should be from what we eat...forgetting that most of what we eat has been stripped of its nutriients then has synthetic vitamins added. Some people are afraid to take vitamins, like its an act of superstition. Natural vitamins are concentrated foods.

4) Humans have always concentrated food for various purposes including travel, preparing for food shortages and very importantly, for eating enough nutrients. For thousands of years before agriculture we prepared and ritualized food that provides us with vitamin supplement as well as satifying our hunger and flavour needs. Foods like peanut butter, marmite, gravy, soup, HP sauce, tamari, licorice, coffee, tea and mustard represent our tradition of incorporating vitamin rich supplements into our diets. Usually these are very tasty additions to our meals.

5) When in their most organic and non-synthetic modern forms, condiments are often dietary supplements. HP Suace was originated from chutney, which would have been an iron supplement made with dates and soybean sauce (soy sauce). Ketchup also is a derivitive of chutney. Unfortunately these modern products likely grown with unlabeled pesticide treated vegetables and too much sugar. An organic product or homemade ketchup and HP Sauce would be a reliable nutritious addition.

6) Licorice and flax seed oil is anti-inflamatory, so they both relieve arthritis. Licorice is good for the lungs, is a stimulant and relieves some tummy ailments. Flax seed oil flushes excess estrogen out of the body. It is antiviral and aids with brain function.
7)Preserving a concentrated product of berries is an ancient nutritional practice. On the Canadian west coast berries were smashed in cedar boxes. Then the berries were boiled over hot stones and became a paste which was dried out on skunk cabbage( the city Chicago is named after such a plant or onions) till the semi-dry paste was hung rolled into tubes. Later the berry tubes would be cut or flattened and stored in cedar boxes. A kind of fruit leather. Europeans make jam out of berries for the same purpose as preserving concentrated vitamins for the winter seasons and in case of food shortages.

8)Maple syrup is a major source of manganese which supports the immune system, aids with production of cellular energy and has anti-oxidant cofactor. Maple syrup also is a fair source of iron, folic acid, niacin and calcium.

9)Oolichan grease is a rich buttery oil. I loved it, and had it at a friends house growing up, mixed with blueberries. It was thick, soft and exotic. Like the oceans whipped cream.

The Native American's recipe to render oolichan grease differs slightly from one tribe to another. The Haisla people of the Kitamaat Village of British Columbia, have been oolichan fishing for thousands and thousands of years.

Their general recipe is to allow the fish to ripen for approximately two weeks under evergreen branches, cook the fish in fresh water, and then skim the oil from the surface of the water. Specific recipes differ in the dumping and stirring of the fish, straining the carcasses, placing rocks in the water to reheat the mixture, and filtration methods. Whatever method used that is unique to the individual tribe, those involved in making the oolichan grease were, and still are, proud of the end product. The grease was, and still is, shared and sometimes given away as a gift. The valuable and nutritious end product is used on many foods; salmon, halibut, herring roe, and berries, similar to the way butter is used. The grease was used for trade with other First Nations that did not harvest oolichan.

Photos of making Oolichan Grease. Near where I went to high school, in Kitimat, of special interest to Red and *, I suspect.

10) Assiniboine Story of Making Grease.
11) Poetic Places, an essay.
12) Nutrition Glossary
13) Organic Farmer blog Even though this organic farmer hasn't made a post in ages, his blog is worth reading.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


I haven't gone around and done 20 Comments for ages, so I am going to see how many I can do this morning...

1) From A Lofty Perch See some paintings of ferns here today. Brought to you from Wyomming.
2) Four Dinners Very funny teen romance story.
3) Red-Letter Day Fun reviews of the coming years calendars for sale online.
4) High Class Jack Ass New York angst, written by a sweetheart. An edgy sweetheart.
5) The Girls Handbook Girl stuff, shopping and gifts and shoes.
6) Archaeoastronomy Alun has a fun knife throwing game there right now.
7) Subject A Obliterates I found this blog on my site meter, they came first glance it looks like erotica. Hmm...the pictures are ooh la la. Must go back for a double peek. Wait, no it's very artful writing. Great pics.
8) Tinkerbell Diary of A Dutch Witch.
9) So Be It She always decorates her blog for the seasons. Looks cool.
10) Scott Holdensmith Always interesting notes....
11) Incorporeal Works A book club buddy is writing a book and it's online. I just noticed this today so am excited to read along. Any others interested? Here are the opening lines from the prologue: September 1966 GODWALKS MOUNTAIN

The highway wound along the flanks of a deep gorge, glints of a small creek visible at the bottom, through the dense growth of rhododendron and mountain laurel. Broken sandstone bluffs hung over the road on the other side. The weight of the midday sun had softened the tar in the roadway, making small bubbles in the smooth surfaces over patched areas. Through the trees on the bluffs, houses could be seen, spaced at intervals large enough to ensure privacy. Towards the upper end of the defile, the road passed close under the bluff. A section of pavement had been torn up, a collapsed culvert being repaired. A ditcher and front end loader were pulled over on one side of the road above the ditch.

Two boys about twelve were horsing a motorbike across a board which served as bridge over the excavation. As they got the bike onto the pavement below the ditch, the lead boy, dark haired and with something impish in his face, spoke sharply to the other, fair and petulant. “Okay, Punk. Are you gonna ride me? Or can I drive?”

12) A Blog Bout Nowt Needs no introduction here. He has a great post up today.
13) Voyages of the HMS Swiftfire Arctic coldfront. Warm up Karen and go say hello!
14)Lecio Alberta photos of frost, very pretty! she defends soccor moms, I say down with soccor moms! Heh heh, no just kidding sort of, go weigh in yourself. She seems very nice. Super cool blog. HEY Heather! Regis and Kelly talked about the weather in Calgary this morning in their intro. Said the arctic front is breaking records and heading south.
15) Manhattan laywer, recovering from breakup seeking new apartment, peace of mind, hip neighbourhood and counseling. She's got it all going on, is very open and has great posts. Go give her a hug!

I am still visiting blogs, but might as well post the list of visits I have made so far today...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Can I make a post with the text of one word using red?

Yes, I am playing with posts. SORRY. This is going to be very boring.

Pretty colours

Sprucing up The Underground Baker

Monday, November 27, 2006

Calling All Destroyers

The band, Calling All Destroyers, played on the same bill the other night as Dolt 45. They were very good and had a lot of fans. Both bands have music online if you click on their links.

Gary Michael Dault reviews Sheila Gregory's painting show.

Review of Sheila Gregory's show in Toronto by Gary Michael Dault

Photos of Opening Party. If you scroll down on Tim's cans ee more photos of the paintings.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

How Canada Works

Since politicians hire people to control and manipulate their own language and ideas...into something that is difficult to understand, we must be very careful to make sure we understand the things they want to change.

The best aspects of Canada are our health programs, our tolerance, and legislations to support tolerance and not hate crimes, rights for Canadians protecting their equality regardless of gender, age, religion and skin colour. And our incredible natural resources and wilderness.

Many Canadians do not understand how our laws and constitution works and it's unique structure prevents the kind of poverty and health catastrophes seen in other nations.

Equalization is a protection in our Constitution, that no province should have less health care opportunities one over another. Same for education and legal recourses. Even though Ontario and Alberta are the most financially able provinces, health care in Quebec and Newfoundland and B.C. and education programs are subsidized by the wealthy provinces. This is a beautiful function in our economy and philosophy. It's part of what makes Canada so special. And human.

Stephen Harper is acting like a freak.

Slap Upside The Head

On Politics

He (Harper) is said to be suggesting that Ottawa could, over time, entirely vacate areas specifically assigned to provinces by the Constitution. This might conclude with a constitutional prohibition on federal spending in provincial fields.
This is breathtaking. It would mean an end to federal funding of health care, universities, welfare and cities (at a minimum), and (possibly) infrastructure, job creation and regional development. It would also seem to doom the federal Equalization program.
From here.

The Fraser Institute is a "think tank" made up of and for the very rich and very self annointed elite. In the above link take careful note of their perspective. My motto is whatever Harper or the Frazer Institute wants to propose, shoot it down.

These few bastards do not give a shit about the rest of us. Then the influential Fraser Institute published Canada’s most radical policy paper to date on the subject. It proposed that Ottawa discontinue all major social transfers (health, universities, welfare and Equalization), cut federal business taxes, and that provinces cope by reducing programs and/or raising provincial sales taxes.

Remember Harper has never publicly renounced of his past overt stance against womens and gay rights. On that alone he should be ousted. (even Mel Gibson made an "Apology Tour")

"The establishment came down with a constitutional package which they put to a national referendum. The package included distinct society status for Quebec and some other changes, including some that would just horrify you, putting universal Medicare in our constitution, and feminist rights, and a whole bunch of other things."
- Conservative leader Stephen Harper, then vice-president of the National Citizens Coalition, in a June 1997 Montreal meeting of the Council for National Policy, a right-wing American think tank.

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Strong Confident Woman: Art for the people by Patrick Nagel

When Stagg and I were out seeing Dolt 45 play, we noticed a seriograph on the wall of the bar. In the 80's these prints were everywhere, restaurants, clubs, peoples home. I wondered aloud, who this artist was and their story. Stagg guessed they were probably passed away. I turned, rather surprised. Really? Why? And we discussed that we hadn't seen any new images, and it was possible drugs were involved. I said, I'm going to blog about him.

Patrik Nagel was one of the few artists to not only make it huge, but also to become part of pop culture and be truly loved yet, not held held in contempt by the court of public opinion. This is a fine accomplishment. He never made it to the age of forty.

His art assistant said Nagel used Payne's grey more than any other painter. Despite the day-glo trend colors in nightclubs and the ubiquitous punkers black leather jackets grey was the color of the 80's. I remember one Christmas, Mister Anchovy said all of his holiday presents had grey in them. I said to him, apparently your family thinks you're hip and urban. Patrick Nagel's paintings did use a lot of grey and the colours were controlled and distilled to enhance the overall impression that his women models were concrete, strong, assured and mysterious. There were professional women with glamour. Women we haven't seen as icons in two decades.

His paintings have been associated and as emulating with the Art Deco movement, but they have ties and style aligned with Warhol, Lichenstein, Tamara Lempicka, and Helmut Newman. Her hair was often androgynous, her hands lovely and gloved, sunglasses always hinted at her reserve and her mystery. She was public and her often strong aquiline nose another sign of androgynous equality to men, her forehead large her manicured looks like a masque. His paintings averaged about 4'x6'. Quite different than his posters.

I wonder what these women represented personally to the artist? He was a ranger who saw combat in Vietnam. I wonder if her strength and confidence was something he valued about women and their role in society being able to overcome the struggle to be part of society as equals and healthy? The largest collection of Nagels paintings are owned by Hugh Hefner and exhibited at the Playboy mansions. Nagel was a regular contributor to Playboy magazine and this is evidence of his accomplishment in mainsteam culture , as well as his record sales of a hardcover book and the sales of his posters. His popularity in the homes of the public puts him in the rare peer group of Warhol, Monet, Van Gogh, Lempicka, and Thomas Kinkade, and popular movie posters. He died after a celelbrity exercise event for the American Heart Foundation. He was found dead of a heart attack later that same day. Drug addiction, drinking and smoking may have been a contributing cause.

"I don't think I want to know these women too well. They never come out in the sunlight. They just stay up late and smoke and drink a lot." Patrick Nagel

"I simply knew when I saw those pictures that this was the artist I wanted to start my publishing company with. My idea was to create a series of limited-edition graphics unlike any done before, to create something that would be art, that would be hand printed by silk-screen, and that would fill a market niche between the very expensive limited-edition prints which were then going for $5,000 each and simple, inexpensive gallery poster art." Karl Bornstein

Barry Haun:
Patrick Nagel used more Payne's grey than any other painter ever.
He never wore short sleeves.
He loved women.
He especially loved women with strong noses.
He thought Pennies from Heaven was a great movie.
He could play the accordion. He said his mom bought anything from anybody, and there was this door-to-door accordion salesman...
He loved peanut M&Ms, chocolate shakes (not too thick), fried onions, and coffee.
He said that if I wanted to work for him I would have to learn to how to juggle. Why, I don't know, but now I can juggle.
He wanted to paint Jessica Lange's portrait. Cher's too.
He would stop work if he was out of Pepsi or coffee.
He thought exercise was stupid. For him, it turned out to be.

Notice the poster above the fireplace is done emulating the Nagel poster, a nod from the tv show Furturama.

Tributes to Patrick Nagel

List From A List

You know I love lists, yummy!

But this one is a really addictive one...books. The New York Times Top 100 Most Notable Books of the Past year.

I've compiled a quick first impression list of books I'd like to read. I've read a few of the selections on this list already. But here's my new reading list to look out for next time I'm at the book store...anybody else game? What would you like on their list?

Here are my choices from their list:


Arthur and George by Julian Barnes (Sherlock Holmes sounds really cool.)
Of course, Digging To America by Ann Tyler!
Gallatin Canyon:Stories by Thomas McGuane
The Lay of The Land Richard Ford (I heart R.F.)
Against The DayThomas Pynchon (I'm a sucker for punishment hee hee , well I love him and Pynchon is a lifestyle choice)
The Emperors Children by Claire Messud
The Echo Maker by Richard Powers
Forgetfulness by Ward Just

I noticed two novels about artists, The Dissident by Nell Freudenberger and The
Dream of Sukhanov
by Olga Grushin...and they sound like they are both
exploring similar plots and themes, Interesting.


The Blind Side by Michael Lewis
Programming the Universe
Blue Arabesque by Patricai Hempel
The Courtier and The Heretic by Mathew Stuart
The Omnivores Dilema:A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
Redemption by Lemann
The United States of Argula: How We Became A Gourmet Nation by David Kamp

Any books on the list grab your attention?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

About Last Night

Before we went out last night we watched the EXCELLENT concert special of Madonna's Confession Tour. It was so well produced and beautiful. Brought me right back to the show in Chicago.
Thirteen things about last night.

Stagg, Nancy and Derek. Stagg and Derek have been BFF since kids, they went to Catholic boy's school together and art school too! Derek and Nancy are married. Derek is in a band with other school friends called Dolt 45. These are the greatest folks and I love seeing them play. I really feel at home with them and it is really cool to see how Stagg is with these lifelong friends. They welcomed me right away.(Unlike the plot of "About Last Night" which is a Chicago based movie btw) We're going out with Derek and Nancy on the weekend coming up. Maybe bowling or shooting pool.

Stagg and Dave, above. Dave is another of Stagg's BFF. He has all these fun stories of hanging with these guys all the way through high school listening to music in each others basements. They are all obsessed with music and musical instruments. Dave and his wife just had a beautiful baby boy. The bands website is HERE

Jimmy, Stagg, Greenie and Dave.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

There Goes My Sister!

My sister, Underground Baker is doing a bread cooking show on CBC Almanac today. I am looking into seeing if it will be available online.

You should be able to go to the link above and listen to her segment.

I know a few of you would love to listen to this program and get some of her recipes.

LATER today, she will post the recipes. She has three recipes up from her program on her blog .

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Dinner Is Served

After the Pow Wow, we went for margeritias and then pizza and salad at Marc and Deana's. Before we ate, it was time for the small family members to eat. They used to scrap with each other, so Deana found a solution. Naughty mats? Just like Supernanny! She places 2 squares of paper towel side by side and the cats walk onto the towels and place their front paws on them. Then they are served and they eat peacefully. Aren't they adorable! I t was nice for me to get a cat fix.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Pow Wow

The opening ceremony was a warriors dance honouring veterans and people now servng in the military. What a beautiful ceremony it was, and of course I couldn't help but think of my grandfathers who had both served in WWII, and one of them had served in WWI as well. I used to not really like the look of our Canadian flag: I used to think it was kinda lame, a maple leaf and very simple. Funny, but over the years, since I always travel a lot and being's become dear to my heart. How beautiful in the spirtual realm and in the First Nations there are no borders for the spirit and for the peoples hearts. Being in love with someone from another country brings this home and near and dear as well, as I am sure you can imagine gentle visitor.

We ate some outstanding venison fry bread sandwiches. Oh my god were they good, and filling! No I didn't take a photo, sorry. Stagg and I went to the Pow Wow with Marc and Deana and just had a terrific day enjoying the beautiful celebrations, ceremonies and each others wonderful company. My daughter went to an Ojibway Imersion and First Nations School, so this was like homecoming for me. Thanks to Deana and Marc for an awesome day!!!
Below in photo, is Mike. He is a former marine who was participating in the ceremony honouring vetrans earlier in the day. See his wonderful beaded Marine insignia?

One Nation, One Land, One People

These beautiful Princesses are Miss Indian Princess 2006, on the left, and on your right is A.I.C. Miss Indian Chicago 2006-2007. Aren't they gorgeous. Thank you to their parents for allowing me to photograph them. I hope they come to here to say hello or take a look! Please say hello if you do!

Incredible results from choosing materials for new intents. If you click on some of these photos, you might be able to notice what these beautiful clothes are made from...assimilated from all kinds of objects whose original design or purpose is quite different than the result in these clothes. Up close are straws, electrical tape, asian fabrics and sari fabrics, transformed and embraced as a way to the ends. This wonderful sense of adopting and aplicating all kinds of sources and materials reminded me instantly of Stagg's art sensibilty (and my own too I admit). I loved seeing materials transformed to the artistic vision. Assimilation is a kind of spiritual healing and love. The artistry in the traditional clothing was deeply inspiring to me all day. If anyone thinks that diversity is dead in America just look within these photos! ONE LOVE!